Haiti still needs our help

Published 10:22 pm Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Just because you can turn the channel doesn’t mean the tragedy isn’t still there.

Just because you can turn the front page doesn’t mean the need for aid is not still great.

Just because you can click to a new Web page doesn’t mean that lives are not still in danger and lives are not still being lost.

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Wednesday, as the horrors of last week’s earthquake in Haiti continue into a second week, another sizeable earthquake shook the ground of the Caribbean country and, in turn, shook the nerves of survivors and rescuers alike.

The latest quake — or aftershock — caused already destroyed buildings to crumble a little more and push an already impoverished country further into disrepair.

Despite the best efforts of humanitarian relief agencies and the United States military, the level of despair in the country has deepened in recent days, and the number of those dying from injuries, thirst and hunger continues to build.

Estimates by Haitian officials and relief agencies have put the number of dead from 75,000 to 200,000. While that remains a surprisingly wide range, it does nothing to diminish the tragedy or scope of this horror.

But, the giving spirit of communities like Suffolk, which has seen its residents and its companies donate money by the thousands and supplies and food by the ton, has put in motion a response that will offer a much brighter tomorrow for the Haitian people than the dark days they have seen.

But even as we see planes and ships loaded with supplies land and dock in Haiti, the need for more giving is there. We must continue our efforts, either through charities or through our churches, to help these people — our neighbors.

There is no telling how long it will take to help lift this country back from its knees, but we must be there — regardless of how long it takes — to make sure they stand up once again.